Healing Hands

“We may think we have little to offer, but our hands (our presence and attention) can mend wounds and participate in God’s ongoing work to heal the world one person at a time.” (ODJ, 14th July 2017)

I was reading my devotion on the bus this morning. As I read to the end, that last sentence just hit me.

For the last few days,  I’ve been busy preparing for the upcoming fundraising event for our (OCF) next homeless run. At first I was excited as I was discussing my ideas etc and showed the budget that I’ve prepared to my friend who’s setting up the stall on that day. But I felt a bit discouraged because it seems like an impossible task. I shopped around to find the cheapest deals I can find regarding warm clothing e.g. beanies, socks, gloves, scarves and disposable containers for the food but the amount that we need to raise is just over $800 to feed/provide for around 40 homeless people.

I guess today’s devotion just reminded me it’s the thought that counts. The fact that we are not ignoring the homeless people living on the street is what really matters. So I should stop stressing and worrying about how much we can raise. But most importantly to trust God to use whatever He provides to bless those who are less fortunate than us.

Would greatly appreciate your prayers for the upcoming fundraising event happening on the 22nd of July. 🙂

 

To read today devotion: https://www.ourdailyjourney.org/2017/07/14/healing-hands/

Love Them with Me

I’m currently working on another Q&A for my blog, but as I was reading today’s devotion I felt that God wanted me to share about my experience organising and going on my very 1st homeless run with the OCFers. Here’s the link to read today’s ODJ devotion: https://www.ourdailyjourney.org/2017/07/07/love-them-with-me/

To be honest, I can’t really remember why I decided to organise the homeless run this year (especially when I’ve never been on one last year) but when I was organising Missions Week for OCF, this verse came to me in the mail:

“Let us not love with words or speech, but in actions and in truth.” 1 John 3:18

So I was like hmmm maybe God wants me to give the OCFers an opportunity to put that verse into practice. Looking back now, I really believe that it was His will/calling for the OCFers to go on a homeless run back in May.

The meat that we originally planned and bought to use for an event on campus was used to bless the homeless people instead (due to last minute changes from the organisers). On that night, while we were handing out food, some strangers were approaching us. At first I thought they wanted some food from us but nope, instead they gave us even more food from their conference so that we can bless even more people.  Indeed, thanking God for His provision.

“What good is it, my brothers, if someone says he has faith but does not have works? Can that faith save him? If a brother or sister is poorly clothed and lacking in daily food, and one of you says to them, “Go in peace, be warmed and filled,” without giving them the things needed for the body, what good is that?  So also faith by itself, if it does not have works, is dead.” (James 2:14-17)

Thanking God for His word of encouragement while planning for homeless run. As I read more on the topic of homelessness, I became more anxious and worried. But the day before the homeless run (on 10th May) I read my devotion, the key verse from ODB was taken from Joshua 1:9,

“Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go.”

Thanking God for sustaining me with His strength that day. I had an early start at uni at 8am and finished class around 4pm, then straight after class I joined the rest of the LC and my fellow OCFers to cook for the homeless people. I can’t deny I was pretty exhausted that day but it was really worth it. That night during the homeless run, it breaks my heart to see the number of homeless people and how they had to sleep on cold concrete or out in the cold without a roof over their heads. It has taught me to be grateful and be content with what I have.

Thankful for everyday needs.jpg

Lately it has been really cold and rainy, I feel helpless that I can’t really do much but pray that God will provide their needs. But I am looking forward to return with more OCFers next sem and to give out more warm food + clothing. Praying that our upcoming fundraising (which is happening in 2 week’s time) will go well so that we can bless more homeless people. 🙂

I’ll end with a quote from today’s ODJ:

Whether we’re struggling through our own pain or weighed down by the suffering of others, we can take comfort in God’s sure promises in Psalm 12 to be with and deliver the oppressed. Even if we can’t easily see how, we can rest assured that our God is working to rescue the poor—perhaps even using us as part of His loving, restoring work.

Be Still and Know

What a semester it has been. The combination of excitement that this is finally my final year and also feeling the stress/burden of not failing any of my units so that I can graduate in time.

At the start of the year, someone close to me kept on reminding me not to take on too much, especially in my final year. Well… I already started my term as Outreach and Mission Officer at OCF since the AGM last September, so no way will I just leave and let my other leaders & fellow OCFers down. I continued to serve in the worship team at OCF as well, mainly because quite a number of our musicians have graduated last year, and I feel that it will be unfair to let the others (remaining on the team) to have to keep serving on a more regular basis. On top of that, I’m also serving in the worship team at church as well as in Sunday School because there wasn’t enough people serving.

Anyways, you could probably tell I had a lot on my plate already (but at that time I thought I was fine, that’s why I didn’t cut down) until I failed 2 of my mid sems. 😦

Even though I wished I had listened, so that maybe just maybe this outcome could have been avoided if I did listen, but I believe God always allow things to happen for a good reason and for His purpose & glory alone. Of course, no one would ever voluntarily sign up for a trial/hardship in life but through this painful experience, I’ve learnt to TRUST Him even though it was so hard.

I think what disappointed me the most was not the failure itself but I felt that God had failed me, He failed to keep His promise. Because just before my finance mid-sem, this verse came out on Instagram.

Psalm 55:22 “Cast you cares on the Lord and he will sustain you; he will never let the righteous fail.”

I mean why give me false hope that I won’t fail when You/God know I will and I did. When I saw my results, I was shocked but I found comfort. That night we had a Combined Public Meet at OCF where aunty M came and encouraged us on the importance of serving. But she concluded by reminding us the importance of finding the balance between serving and studying. That was when I realised that I had been taking on too much than I should. After the CPM, I told aunty M that I found her message very timely and relevant to what I was going on at that moment of my life. I’m thankful for her prayers and reminding me that we as students should also focus on glorifying God through our studies. And that God will provide the people to step up to serve. Hence, I should cut down on my commitments.

She also gave me Romans 8:28.

Romans 8:28 “And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.”

So since then (after the mid-sems to the final exams), I let my leaders know that I need to reduce my commitments and I’m thankful that they are very understanding and wasn’t judgmental. Also I had the opportunity to train up/mentor new worship leaders at church. It was a joy to see how I could share my limited experience and knowledge with them and see how God was using them to serve Him. =)

The most important lesson God told me during this painful/stressful time was to “Be Still and Know that I am God” (Psalm 46:10). That message came through songs (like Amy Grant which I included below) to devotion  to Instagram/Facebook posts. You know that this message is important when you see it more than once.

carry-thru

Preparing for my finals (which I just ended on Monday) was a struggle for me. I think what happened in the mid sem just shook me and robbed away my confidence in what I thought I knew. I would just break down in tears remembering my failures. But God always works in ways you cannot see. The very next day, a friend from BSF texted me. It was really unexpected because I haven’t talk to her in 2 years and she probably doesn’t know that I was struggling at that time. But her words of encouragement was very timely. She shared Isaiah 40:29-31, telling me that God prompted her to share this with me.

Isaiah 40:29-31 “He gives strength to the weary and increases the power of the weak. Even youths grow tired and weary, and young men stumble and fall; but those who hope in the LORD will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint.”

Even though I wished I didn’t have to go through all this for the last 3 months but I’m thankful I did. Because I got to experience God in a way I wouldn’t have otherwise.  I think a lot of times, we link pain/suffering/trials (whatever you want to call it) to our own faults. I know I did, I kept asking God “Why did you let me fail? It’s not like I didn’t study. So what did I do wrong??!!”As I was asking this question, this link pop up on my Facebook page (God is always so timely isn’t He? Haha)

http://www.ibelieve.com/slideshows/12-reasons-god-might-call-you-to-suffer.html

I’m really thankful for the amazing brothers and sisters in Christ who have been so encouraging and bringing me comfort during this season in my life. From coming all the way to study with me, bringing food and exam study packs, to encouraging notes/cards/messages/Bible verses and praying for me. And also classmates/friends who texted me to study with them. Also when my home/area had a sudden power outage which was around 10pm and I had a quiz due, so I had to rush to the uni library to get it done by midnight, thankful for the friend who stayed up to study with me. And for a second chance to re-do one of my group assessments. Definitely won’t forget the time when I had trouble with importing data from Excel to R Commander for my stats test and praying that the tutor will give me extra time which I did. Despite the extra stress, thank God that I managed to do quite alright in that test. Looking back, I’m really blessed. Thankful that God has been so faithful and for His providence, love and care for me.

reflection

Even though at this moment, my papers are being marked, I choose to trust God that all will be well. I’m not expecting good grades but just enough to pass the units. One key take away lesson that I learnt from BSF just this Monday (decided to go again since I finished my last paper) is that God will keep His promises even though we are uncertain/unsure of the outcome.

Haha, I saw rainbows 4 times today. The first one just before my sister’s final exam, second one blogging while waiting for my sister to finish her last paper, third time on the way home and the last one when we reached home. “A rainbow’s position depends on the location of the observer and the position of the sun.” So for me, it’s quite rare to see a rainbow. I associate rainbow with God’s promise (from Noah’s Ark story). It’s a “lesson to us is that when we see a rainbow we should always be reminded of God’s faithfulness and His amazing grace.” Taken from https://www.gotquestions.org/Noahic-covenant.html 

Well, I saw 4 rainbows today so I think God is saying I’ll pass all 4 of my papers! haha 🙂

Let me end by sharing one of my favourite verses

Jeremiah 29:11 “For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.”

If you’re going through a hard time at the moment, can I encourage you NOT to give up? Keep trusting in the Lord and let His promises to you come to pass.

Here’s a prayer especially for you! 🙂 God bless!

A prayer for when you want to give up

P.S. I finished my draft I was wondering whether I should post/share this, and God gave me a clear answer while reading my devotion on the bus. 🙂 https://odb.org/2017/06/21/sharing-a-cup-of-comfort/

 

 

 

Part 4: H.I.S. Mission

“Christians have been given a cause far more important than saving the baby whales, the spotted owls, the rain forests and yes, even the cave beetles.”

I like how Vicki Courtney shared in her book Cherish (which I’m currently reading) on the topic of “Why are you here? God’s Purpose for your Life.”

This fits in well with Box 4: Mission/Future.

Jesus said to His disciples, “Go into all the world. Preach the good news to everyone.” (Mark 16:15)

Nations Discliple

Those were the very last words Jesus said before He was taken up into Heaven.

Just as Jesus entrusted His 11 disciples to share the good news that Christ has paid the price for our sins, He has called each one of us (not just pastors, missionaries etc) to do the same thing.

As followers of Christ we are called to carry out H.I.S. Mission.

H.I.S. stands for:

HIS

My church’s 2015 Mission Statement

 

We are called to be His ambassadors! As a representative of Christ, it is our duty to imitate His character and His love towards each other. (Yeah, that includes our enemies (Matthew 5:44) because we were once enemies of God but He chose to love us and forgive us.)

Well, you don’t have to be a missionary or go to a foreign country in order to serve the world. You can do so where God has placed you at this very moment. Your mission field includes your school/uni, workplace, neighbourhood/community.

For me as a student, I’m thankful that I can serve Him at uni where God brings the nations to my doorstep. #UniMentor #OCF 🙂

Yes, I know it can be scary going up to your friends or even to strangers sitting next to you on the bus and tell them about Jesus Christ. But God has given us the Holy Spirit to help us on what to say.

Sometimes actions speak louder than words. Just a simple act of kindness can lead your friends, classmates, neighbours, colleagues or even strangers to Christ. I was really amazed and thankful through God’s help that I managed to invite a stranger I met on the bus to OCF the very next day. You can read it here.

The key message is:

We must break the silence and bring Christ’s message to a dying world.

Therefore, BE BOLD AND COURAGEOUS in sharing about the Good News to the people around you!:)

“Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged, for the LORD your God will be with you wherever you go.” (Joshua 1:9 NIV)

“You Make Me Brave” by Bethel Music & Amanda Cook has given me the courage to make Him known and I hope it will encourage you too!

I pray that God will give you opportunities, courage and wisdom to do H.I.S. Mission! 🙂

Annalisa

Related post: How Can I Break the Silence?

 

 

 

 

Part 2: Serving the King of kings

Hi again! Welcome to Part 2 of my OCF Winter Camp reflection! Today I’ll be sharing about Box 2 – Time with People/Crowds.

Have you ever felt like Jonah? Or Moses? Where you felt like running away from what God has called you to do because you felt inadequate to do the task He has specifically entrusted you to do?

I know every Christian is called to share the Good News with the people around them. But at the start of this year through my suffering, I felt that God has called me to be an evangelist, in particular a “Social Media Evangelist”. I enjoy sharing about my journey with God through my blog, Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.

There are definitely challenges that I need to overcome and times when I doubted, especially when I’m still so young and inexperienced.

Exactly this time last week, I shared a post on End of Financial Year. I’ve been wanting to share about the Good News on LinkedIn. (Just in case you haven’t come across LinkedIn, it is a business-oriented social networking service. My Career Advisors have been asking us (uni students) to get LinkedIn because “it’s not who you know but who knows you.”)

Anyway,s back to my story, after posting the EOFY article I felt that God was telling me that this was a good opportunity for me to share about God on LinkedIn. But I felt scared and worried. “Why should I be doing it? Can’t you ask someone else to do it instead? Anyways, who am I to tell these professionals what to do? They won’t listen to me anyway and they’ll probably rebuke me.” Yeah, I sound like Moses don’t I?

From experience I knew that arguing with God will get me to nowhere. Learning from Jonah, I know no matter how hard I try to run away, God will make me go back to square 1. (I’m sure it wasn’t a coincidence that my group was given the story of Jonah to perform on Skit Night. So Thank You God! ^^)

Just as Jesus draws on the strength He gets from spending time with the Father (Re: Box 1), I decided to spend time alone with God. (That night my parents were out watching my sister’s performance.) I just got down to my knees and prayed out loud. I wanted God to give me the strength, guidance and courage to do His will.

Then I went on Instagram to see if there were any encouraging words from God. Wow! God never fails me! As I was scrolling through my News Feed I saw this!

You a difference.png

Dayspring posted this “Hey, you. Just in case you forget or you’ve started to doubt: you were created to make a difference!”

I also felt that God was telling me, “Why do you fear men rather than God? Why do you worry about what other people think of you when you should focus on what the King of kings have asked you to do.”

Christian Quotes 34.png

I’m so glad for God’s timely messages! God even prompted the blogger (whom I based his article to write my EOFY article) to like my article. This gave me the courage to share it on LinkedIn!

After posting on LinkedIn, I decided to share that article with my CPA Manager. I just received an email today around 3pm, she said she enjoyed reading my EOFY post! 🙂

I’m just so amazed at how God is always there for us and He will give us the strength to do His will!

Looking back at my Spiritual Gifts post, evangelism wasn’t in my top 3! But that’s ok, when He calls us, He will equip us! 🙂

If you’re not sure what your Spiritual Gifts are, you can check out:

http://giftstest.com/test

How Do I Uncover My Spiritual Gifts?

Let me end with this song “We will Not be Shaken” which greatly encourages me! As long as we put our Trust in God, we don’t have to be afraid! Because He has overcome! 🙂

See you soon for Part 3! Can’t wait! ^^

Annalisa

***********************************************************************

The above article is based on the following Qs discussed during OCF Winter Camp 2016:

  1. What does “box 2” currently look like for you? Do you have a specific job or ministry that you feel you are doing to serve God? Describe it.
  2. What challenges come to you as you do it?
  3. To what extent is your box 1 providing strength, guidance, and energy for your box 2? Do you find yourself needing help with identity, guidance, refreshment and courage to do what you need to do? To what extent do you get those things from God?

CHRISTIANS STAND FIRM IN YOUR FAITH

Hello everyone! Australia will be holding their Federal Election tomorrow (2nd July)! Just received this email and thought I should share it. Please pray for Australia that God will appoint the Government that will protect religious freedom and Christian values in this country.

The article is taken from: http://deargoldie.com/2016/06/29/christians-stand-firm-in-your-faith/

“Be watchful, stand firm in the faith, act like men, be strong.”

1 Corinthians 16:13

The events of the past few weeks overseas have no doubt been alarming to the Christian community throughout the world, especially in Australia (where the federal election will be held on 2nd July), with a female security guard arrested and facing hate crime charges for removing a male from a female bathroom in Washington, D.C.1) and the prestigious Yale University introducing gender-neutral bathrooms in 23 of their buildings2). Last year, the LGBT community welcomed the Supreme Court decision to legalise same-sex marriage in all 50 states of America. The list goes on and on, with the victories over common sense and good morals seemingly ever-increasing. The issue of tolerance for the LGBT minority’s gender and sexuality preferences has become a significant source of discussion, and indeed we find that it has become a source of persecution for the Church, as men and women of God are taken to court for resisting endorsement of same-sex marriage and gender-neutral bathrooms.

OUR RESPONSIBILITY

The Church must remember that it is the responsibility of all Christians to make a stand for what is true and what is right. Of ever-increasing importance is the role of Church leaders in educating their members about the situation. We are called to uphold God’s word as His representatives on Earth (2 Corinthians 5:20). It is incredibly vital for members of the Body of Christ to understand just where God himself stands on the issue.

Jesus said this when asked by the Pharisees about the legality of divorce:

v.4… ”Have you not read that he who created them from the beginning made them male and femalev.5 and said, ‘Therefore a man shall leave his father and his mother and hold fast to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh’? v.6 So they are no longer two but one flesh. What therefore God has joined together, let not man separate.”’ [bold added] Matthew 19:4-6

Jesus’s very own words put to rest any attempt to manipulate the Bible to support any sort of transgender or transsexual behaviours, or the so-called same-sex “marriage”. They do so by stating that from the very beginning, when God created the very first humans, he created them distinctly male and distinctly female. Jesus not only says this, but clearly states that for this very reason, because God created them male and female, a man is to leave the care of his parents to marry a woman, even stating that God himself has ordained such a joining of the two into one flesh. Marriage is clearly defined by Jesus as between one man and one woman.

So there we have it. Our King, our Lord and Saviour himself confirms our Father’s position on the matter, his eternal Sonship in the Trinity further validating it.

OUR ATTITUDE

How then shall we as Christians approach, in practicality, the reality of the situation? That is, how do we talk to those who oppose our view, the position which has been made extremely clear to us by God himself? At the root of our cause to evangelise – meaning to spread the gospel through both our actions and words with intentionality – is that we must do everything out of love.

As the Word clearly states:

v.19 “We love because he first loved us.” (1 John 4:19)

v.43 ‘You have heard that it was said, ‘You shall love your neighbor and hate your enemy.’  v.44 But I say to you, Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you,” (Matthew 5:43-44)

We should not be attacking individuals nor see our message as one that should be used to do so. We should not be using our words as an attempt to simply force others to see things our way. As I have learned, it is possible to be right in your sentiment but wrong in your choice of words. Simply being right does not automatically mean that we are being helpful or that we are being loving. We should not simply attempt to “win the argument” and leave our opponents fuming at their loss and onlookers in awe of our intelligence. That is to say, if we are truly to act with the same love which Christ and the Father has first loved us with, by choosing to die as a sacrifice for our sins on a cross, our basis should be to warn others of the sinful behaviour which leads to eternal damnation in hell.

As Paul makes clear in his first letter to the Corinthian church:

v.9 Or do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived: neither the sexually immoral, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor men who practice homosexuality, v.10 nor thieves, nor the greedy, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor swindlers will inherit the kingdom of God. v.11 And such were some of you. But you were washed, you were sanctified, you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and by the Spirit of our God. 1Corinthians 6:9-11

The passage is both a warning and an encouragement. It is a warning in that it clearly states that those who do not turn and repent from their sinful behaviour (homosexuality being named among them), and a warning for us not to be deceived by those who claim that the listed sins are compatible with Christianity. It is also a source of encouragement, given in verse 11: “And such were some of you. But you were washed, you were sanctified, you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and by the Spirit of our God”.

Notice the words Paul uses: “And such were some of you”, “such” referring to those practicing the listed sinful behaviours, and “were” being a past tense meaning that those whom Paul is referring to practiced those behaviours in the past, but no longer do so, having been washed, sanctified and justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and the Spirit of God. There is hope for those who are caught in the snare of sin that in the name of Jesus Christ, through the work of the Holy Spirit there is justification and sanctification, if we confess and repent of our sins. And for those of us who have been freed from the bondage of sin and death and are continually justified and sanctified daily, let us not forget the place that Christ freed us from, the place that God himself became flesh and blood and died a painful death on a cross in order to ransom us from our sins.

v.1 And you were dead in the trespasses and sins v.2 in which you once walked, following the course of this world, following the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that is now at work in the sons of disobedience— v.3 among whom we all once lived in the passions of our flesh, carrying out the desires of the body and the mind, and were by nature children of wrath, like the rest of mankind. v.4 But God, being rich in mercy, because of the great love with which he loved us, v.5 even when we were dead in our trespasses, made us alive together with Christ—by grace you have been saved— v.6 and raised us up with him and seated us with him in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus, v.7 so that in the coming ages he might show the immeasurable riches of his grace in kindness toward us in Christ Jesus. v.8 For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, v.9 not a result of works, so that no one may boast. v.10 For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them. Ephesians 2:2-9

While we should not be trying to simply “win” arguments, we should also not be actively seeking to avoid such discussions or conflict, by compromising- that is to say, for example, when a friend brings up the fact that they support same-sex marriage and ask you about your thoughts on the matter, simply nodding and muttering indistinctly in agreement in order to avoid being questioned on your beliefs. Our actions should be characterised by an unshakeable conviction that God’s word is true and that it must be upheld. As Peter said in 1 Peter 3:17, it is better to suffer for doing good than for doing evil. Whom do you love more? Christ, who in loving obedience to the Father became a man and died for your sins? Or man, whose praises are far from having eternal value?

OUR RESPONSE

So then how shall we make a stand, how shall we put our faith into practice?

There are plenty of opportunities nowadays, particularly over this next week in Australia, with a Federal election coming up where both major party leaders are in support of same-sex marriage, the time has come for Christians to stand firm in their faith.

Be prepared to be challenged about your faith. Vote for a party that upholds Biblical marriage. Invite your non-believing friends to church. Share the gospel with them. Despite wanting to please others, instead, please God, even when we so desperately want to be loved by others, the best way we can show love to them is by warning them that continued rebellion against God leads to damnation. Pray for Godly leadership in your nations, and for your neighbours suffering from the oppression of sin.

NOTES

All scripture quotations are taken from the English Standard Version (ESV).

Haydn Lian is 18 years old and is a first year student in university in Perth.

References:
1) The Daily Caller. [2016]. Female Security Guard Arrested For Escorting Man Out Of Women’s Restroom. [online] Available at:http://dailycaller.com/2016/05/19/security-guard-arrested-for-removing-man-from-womens-bathroom/ [Accessed 10 Jun. 2016].

2) Mail Online. [2016]. Yale embraces transgender students with gender-neutral bathrooms. [online] Available at: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-3602975/Gender-neutral-bathrooms-introduced-Yale-University-embrace-transgender-students.html [Accessed 10 Jun. 2016].

EOFY & Balance Sheet Of Life

Happy EOFY (End of Financial Year) everyone!!! 🙂

Today is the last business day of the financial year.

So… 1 year has passed! Businesses will take the time to look back to see whether they have achieved their financial goals.

What about you? How did you go? Did you achieved your goals? Did you plan your goals in advance or did you just plod along and hoped for the best?

Whatever your results may be, there is another opportunity to start again. Now’s your chance to plan for a successful goal-driven 12 months.

You should start by figuring out what exactly you want to achieve in that time frame and put in strategies to make it happen. Pray to God because when you “commit everything you do to the LORD. Trust him, and he will help you.” (Psalm 37:5)

the-difference-between-who-you-are-and-who-you-want-to-be

So who do you want to be in the next 12 months?

What do you need to do next week, next month, next quarter to get there?

Write it down and put it in a visible place where you’ll be reminded of your goals/plans!

Set timelines and accountability.

Don’t forget to monitor your progress regularly and ask God to help you to achieve your goals! 🙂

Remember, if you fail to plan you plan to fail!

Now I would like to share with you on the Balance Sheet Of Life that I received from my mum a few weeks ago.

Birth is your Opening Stock.

What comes to you is Credit.

What goes from you is Debit.

Death is your Closing Stock.

Your ideas are your Assets.

Your bad habits are your Liabilities.

Your happiness is your Profit.

Your sorrow is your Loss.

Your soul is your Goodwill.

Your heart is your fixed Assets.

Your character is your Capital.

Your knowledge is your Investment.

Your age is your Depreciation.

And finally :
ALWAYS REMEMBER, GOD IS YOUR AUDITOR. 

Have a perfect Balance Sheet for 2016-2017!

Above article inspired from EOFY what does it mean for you

 

Spreading the Good News =)

Ears & Eyes.png
Just saw this on Instagram. Thought it would be useful to share it! =)

“What good is it to have both ears and a mouth if what you hear, you do not spread. Useful but wasteful, two words to describe the common man who in commitment, can deal good works honestly but in insecurity underperforms on his word.
The ability to hear does not match the discipline it takes to listen. The gift of sight does not match the man who has learned to observe. Effortless and without commitment, can any man hear and spread what carries comfort through security, and even greater is he who lives by the words made law, as he is the example of which another is to follow, for he displays and spreads teaching through direct action.”

Taken from: https://www.instagram.com/motivated_intrinsically/

Pain with a Purpose

Good morning all! Hope your day is going well! 🙂

I just read my ODJ devotion. The message really spoke to me today! It reminded me of how my blog got started! You can read it here: My Reflection – Looking back at how it all got started. And also part 2: A Reflection on Cease Striving and Know (which is more related to today’s post!) 🙂

The key thing that stood out for me is how God can use our suffering/pain/trials as a chapter of a larger story!!! 🙂 I’ve said this before, but I’ll say it again, if it wasn’t because of my skin allergy that God allowed me to suffer, I don’ think this blog would even come into existence! So Praise be to God!!!

“May we rest in God and His infinite power and love, knowing that He can work through even our deepest pain!” – Peter Chin

Pain with a Purpose by Peter Chin

Read: Hebrews 12:1-3

I recently watched a viral video in which men were voluntarily subjected to pain similar to what women experience in childbirth. The men began the experiment in good spirits, joking around as electrodes were attached to their abdomens. But as the pain began and eventually increased, they started to grimace and wince in pain—eventually screaming and clutching each other’s hands for emotional support. As I watched the video, I thought about my own wife—the mother of our five kids—and couldn’t help but wonder: How do women endure that kind of suffering?

The answer is that although childbirth may cause intense pain, there’s an invaluable point to the pain: a baby! It’s the baby that allows women to place their experience into a larger context and to realize that, as painful as childbirth is, it results in the birth of a beautiful new life. In that way, their pain isn’t an end unto itself, but a chapter of a larger story.

Although Jesus is fully God, His human suffering on earth was far more profound and severe than what we might face, as evidenced by His night in the garden of Gethsemane (Luke 22:44). What allowed Him to endure suffering of this magnitude was the joy that would come after it: His great victory over sin and death (Hebrews 12:2). Jesus knew that His pain, although indescribable, was only part of the larger story of salvation. And so He was able to endure.

How important it is for us to take the same approach—choosing not to “give up” when we face trials and tribulations (Hebrews 12:3). They aren’t the entire story of our lives, but merely a chapter.

May we rest in God and His infinite power and love, knowing that He can work through even our deepest pain.

NLT 365-day reading plan passage for today: John 1:1-18

More:

Read Luke 1:26-38 for the account of Mary who was able to endure the scorn of those around her because she knew the full story: She carried the Hope of the World in her womb!

Next:

Have you ever had a painful experience that was overshadowed by what came afterward? How might your current pain be part of a larger story or work that God is doing?

 

 

God Loves Everyone?

Happy Friday everyone! 🙂 Hope you had a good week and will have a good weekend coming up!

Recently, the articles I’ve read during my free time has something to do with God’s love. Just last night, I read this article called “I went to a strip club“. As a follower of Christ, there will be times when you will find yourselves in some pretty awkward situations. It is easy for us to quickly judge others based on what/how they look like without a full understanding of their situations/reasons for why they are in these situations in the first place.

These people are just like each and everyone of us. They desire to be loved, cared for and respected. They are created in the image of God! It’s so sad to see and hear that they are Christians and churches out there who still marginalise certain groups of people and make them feel like they are on the HATE LIST!

As I was pondering on this topic, I came across today’s ODB devotion: http://odb.org/2016/05/13/unseen-yet-loved/ 

INSIGHT:

Why was there so much tension between Jewish and Gentile followers of Christ? In part, the answer is found in how ancient Israel had come to understand their relationship with God. As His “chosen people,” Israel had been given the law of Moses and a land of promise in order for them to live in relationship with God and with one another. Clearly, no other people group was given this unique access to and relationship with God.

This relationship, however, was never intended to be simply for their benefit. As they lived in covenant relationship with God, they were also intended to draw the surrounding Gentile nations to the God who sought relationship with them as well. The prophet Isaiah had taught them, “He says, ‘It is too small a thing for you to be my servant to restore the tribes of Jacob and bring back those of Israel I have kept. I will also make you a light for the Gentiles, that my salvation may reach to the ends of the earth’” (Isa. 49:6).

As a result, Israel’s relationship with God had a missional element to it—to bring the nations to the Creator who loved them. By the time of Christ, however, this mission had not only been lost, it had been turned inside out. In the minds of the Jewish people, Gentiles had become enemies of God’s people rather than objects of God’s love.

Perhaps that is why Jesus reached out to Gentiles wherever He went: a Roman centurion, a Samaritan woman, a Canaanite woman, and more. The Son of God was teaching us by example that He had come for the lost sheep of Israel, but that He had also come to bring light to the world (John 8:12; 9:5).

The heart of His children should reflect the heart of His Father, who is “not wanting anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance” (2 Peter 3:9).

Reflection Questions

  1. How does Jesus’s attitude toward “outsiders” inform our love for those who do not yet know Him?
  2. Are there people in your life you have been hesitant to reach out to?
  3. How can we, in prayer, seek the help and heart of our loving Father to reach out to those who need the Savior?

For further study on this important topic, read the free Discovery Series booklet How Can I Break the Silence?

Related article: http://odb.org/2016/05/12/ambassador-of-love/

I hope today’s post will help you reconsider your attitudes and behaviours towards the people around you. Regardless of their gender, appearances, cultural backgrounds, ethnicity, beliefs, values, religions etc we are called to love them (including our enemies!)

 (Twit this!) 🙂

13164184_10201705854523507_8578798729592597457_n.jpg

Have a blessed weekend everyone! =)

God bless,

Annalisa  ^^

P.S. If you have been offended or deeply hurt, on behalf of all the Christians, I’m really sorry for the unnecessary heartaches! Please know that you are LOVED! (We as humans make mistakes all the time, but thank God that He keeps on molding and shaping us to be more like Him everyday!) Hope this song will bring comfort to you! ❤

 

%d bloggers like this: